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Get fund for your internet and multimedia projects thanks to ECONTENT programme

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Programme eContent



The Council of the European Union  has adopted on 22 December 2000 a decision for a new programme “eContent” in favour of European digital content industries. eContent is part of the eEurope Action Plan that aims at accelerating the uptake of digital technologies across Europe and at ensuring that all Europeans have the necessary skills to use them..


According M. Erkki Liikanen, Commissioner responsible for Enterprise and Information Society, in order to exploit the strong European position in mobile telephony, mobile internet access and digital TV, content is key for a new range of services to emerge. European firms are best positioned to tailor culturally and linguistically diversified services to the user’s needs.


This month, Welcomeurope wishes to introduce you the guidelines of programme eContent and the financing opportunities that you can obtain in the framework of the Information Society, because the learning, development and exploitation of new digital technologies concern all of us.


1.      The decision of 22 December 2000


To meet the needs of the European society concerning the digital content, the Council has created programme eContent that pursues the actions already undertaken under programme INFO 2000.


General Objectives


- The evolution towards an information and knowledge society should influence the life of every citizen in the European Union by affording new means of gaining access to knowledge and new ways of acquiring knowledge.

- there is also a need to bridge the digital divide in the emerging information society and to strengthen social cohesion.

- Digital content plays a predominant role in this evolution. Four million Europeans are currently employed in the content sector. Content production has given rise to rapid job creation in recent years and continues to do so. Most of these jobs are created in small emerging companies.

- This will radically change the conditions of access to knowledge or acquisition of it, and thus constitutes an essential asset for economic growth, enterprise and employment, and enhancing the professional, social, cultural development and the creativity and innovative capacity of the citizens of Europe now and in the future.


Action lines


In the annex, the Decision describes the action lines that will contribute to the implementation of the strategic objectives of programme eContent  :


- helping to stimulate the use and access for all to the internet by increasing the availability of European digital content on the global networks to support the professional, social and cultural development of the citizens of the European Union and facilitating the economic and social integration of nationals of the applicant countries into the information society


- stimulating access to and use of European digital content potential, especially promoting more effective use of information held by the public sector


- promoting cultural diversity and multilingualism, especially in the languages of the European Union, in digital content on the global networks and increasing the export opportunities of European content firms and in particular SMEs through cultural and linguistic customisation


- creating favourable conditions for the reduction of market fragmentation and for the marketing, distribution and use of European digital content on the global networks to stimulate economic activity and enhance employment prospects, safeguarding cultural diversity, optimising the European heritage and facilitating access to knowledge.


Projects supported by the eContent Programme


- an instrument against the barriers that prevent, at European level, the establishment and functioning of the single market in the areas they address

- high risk – high reward projects

- cross-sectoral and transnational, and

- scalable and act as multipliers

- user oriented


Caution! The application of existing technology (state of the art) will be required for the projects.


Find Programme eContent on our Eurofunding database


For further information on Programme eEurope, consult the Eurofunding database


2. The action lines of programme eContent


- improving access to an expanding use of public sector information


The public sector collects and produces vast amounts of information, much of which is of interest to individuals and businesses, and which can be the raw material for value-added information services produced by the content industries.


The importance of public sector information is underlined in the eEurope action plan, that was adopted by the European Council of Feira of 19-20 June 2000. In the chapter on “European digital content for the global networks’ the information held by the public sector is singled out as an important type of digital content.


The are however many barriers for the transformation of this potential into usable products and services.

To redress this situation, the eContent programme will stimulate different types of activities:

- experiments in concrete projects showcasing the use of public sector information to make added-value services and products

- the establishment of European digital data collections


- Enhancing content production in a multilingual and multicultural environment


this action line addresses the intersection of the content and language industries, more specifically the design, production and distribution of high-quality digital content (e-content) in an increasingly multilingual and multicultural environment. While globalisation is rapidly gaining momentum in the net economy, Europe’s eContent scene remains fragmented, with relatively few European actors active at international level and weak ties between players belonging to different but complementary sectors in the e-content value chain.

Adequate support for multilingual and cross-cultural content provision and access is a key enabler for the development of a European mass market for online products and services, and for a wider deployment of European content in other regions of the world. The technological aspects of this process are well covered.


The overall goal of the actions established within this action line is to investigate and experiment with new partnerships, approaches and solutions for designing and producing easily localisable e-content products and services and having them speedily adapted to the requirements of the target markets, while easing further maintenance and re-purposing work.


Transnational actions will address three broad communities:

- private and public econtent players planning to enhance their offerings through cost effective internationalisation strategies and localisation processes, with a view to addressing European and world wide markets

- businesses and public-sector actors which intend to establish or strengthen their presence on the e-commerce scene through web marketing, retailing and customer care offerings adapted to the linguistic and cultural requirements of a broad range of user groups

- private/public partnerships geared towards the wider deployment of public sectors information, in co-operation.


- Increasing the dynamism of the digital content market


Content industries experience specific difficulties in accessing investment capital necessary to develop new digital content applications and increase their innovative capacity. Corrective actions are needed to improve access to investment capital in order to bring out the full potential and improve business opportunities of European digital content industries in terms of valorisation of the European cultural heritage, business models, innovative applications, mobile multimedia...


The focus of these actions will be on supporting the dissemination of expertise present in business universities and training centres and in the new economy in matters such as management and administrative skills, as well as deploying distance learning facilities, defining and collecting relevant statistical data, on identifying and promoting European best practices and on developing and updating a continuous benchmarking with third countries. Activities will have an experimental character, searching for new ways of bringing together ideas and funds.


For further information on calls for proposal and application subscription, consult the website of DG Information Society


To find a partner


Consult the agenda of the eContent events


© welcomeurope 2001




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